Sunday, March 5, 2017

Paul's Epistles – Colossians - Part 4: Concern about False Teachings

Paul's Epistles – Colossians - Part 4:
Concern about False Teachings
Pastor Bruce A. Shields
House of Faith Church | www.PS127.org | www.TruthDigest.org


SERMON INTRODUCTION

Paul’s letter (Epistle) to the Colossians was a letter to correct Heresy.

Heresy is having an opinion which is in opposition to true doctrine. In other words, the Colossian church had, as many other early churches, fallen prey to false doctrine.

THE COLOSSIAN CHURCH
We see a mixture of Judaism, Gnosticism, Asceticism, Angel worship, etc.

Judaism would be the adherence to Old Testament teachings while ignoring the completed works of the cross.

Gnosticism is the belief that “secret” knowledge existed, specifically that the world was created by a lesser divinity, and ruled by an emissary of the remote Supreme Being. This belief system, which was carried over to Christianity, placed God the Father as the Supreme and Jesus as the lesser ruling divinity.

Asceticism is the severe self-discipline and avoidance of all forms of indulgence, typically for religious reasons.   The doctrine that a person can attain a high spiritual and moral state by practicing self-denial, self-mortification (embarrassment and shame – “mortified”) and the like. Rigorous self-denial; extreme abstinence; in a severe nature.

It is obvious why this is false doctrine, and has no place in a Christ following church.

The heresy, destroyed the Supreme lordship and sovereignty of Jesus Christ, it dethroned Him, destroying the mediator-ship of Christ, making Him only 1 of a multitude of mediators, (such as the Hindu belief in avatars, a manifestation of a deity or released soul in bodily form on earth; an incarnate divine teacher.)

However, we know Jesus is so much more than that, He was, is and always will be God.

TODAY’S SERMON
Paul’s Concern about the False Teachings


SCRIPTURE REFERENCE Colossians 2:1-5

I want you to know how hard I am contending for you and for those at Laodicea, and for all who have not met me personally. My goal is that they may be encouraged in heart and united in love, so that they may have the full riches of complete understanding, in order that they may know the mystery of God, namely, Christ, in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.I tell you this so that no one may deceive you by fine-sounding arguments. For though I am absent from you in body, I am present with you in spirit and delight to see how disciplined you are and how firm your faith in Christ is.

The overall message of this epistle to the church is;
The Supreme Glory, Deity and Dignity of Christ Jesus”.

I. WHAT GREAT (LIT.) CONFLICT I HAVE FOR YOU
a. Paul had concerns over false doctrines in the church

                                                                 i. Judaism had come in (circumcision and the old ways PLUS Christ)

                                                              ii. Gnosticism had come in (Christ NOT God but an Avatar for Him)

                                                           iii. Asceticism had come in (self-mortification, torturing one’s self)


b. Many in these two churches were not familiar with him
                                                                 i. Paul did not establish these two churches


c. However Paul wanted them to be saved
                                                                 i. Paul wanted their hearts to be comforted, because there was conflict within the church because of the false teachings



II.      PAUL ALSO WANTED THERE TO BE UNITY IN THE CHURCH
a. By a knitting together in love
                                                                 i. I Corinthians 13
                                                              ii. This is the only way true unity can be obtained


b. And to have all riches of full assurance of understanding
                                                                 i. In other words, receive the blessings which come from knowing your understanding of the Word of God is the Truth.

                                                              ii. True Doctrine


c. In order (so as) they may know the mystery of God, namely Christ
                                                                 i. True doctrine is the only way to find Christ

                                                              ii. Christ, and “Christ in you” is the mystery

                                                           iii. IN CHRIST are “hidden” ALL the treasures of Wisdom and Knowledge
1. True Wisdom and Knowledge can be found NO WHERE ELSE

                                                            iv. False doctrines are taught for one of a few reasons
1. To gain control of the people
2. To gain control of money
3. To gain control of the church (people & money)

                                                               v. They (false teachers) obtain followers by offering something “they” have, and “you” need
1. For the time will come when people will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear.” – 2 Timothy 4:3

2. Who say to the seers, "You must not see visions"; And to the prophets, "You must not prophesy to us what is right, Speak to us pleasant words, Prophesy illusions.” – Isaiah 30:10

3. Hold on to the pattern of sound teaching you have heard from me, with the faith and love that are in Christ Jesus.” – 2 Timothy 1:13

4. “when they said to you, "In the last times there will be scoffers who will follow after their own ungodly desires." – Jude 1:18

                                                            vi. Paul takes away the “power” of False Teachers by giving the Body of Christ True Doctrine
1. True Wisdom and Knowledge do not come from men, but God alone, through Christ Jesus



III.   I TELL YOU THIS SO THAT NO ONE MAY DECEIVE YOU WITH ENTICING WORDS
a. This statement was directed at the false teachers
                                                                 i. Who deceive by scratching itchy ears, speaking pleasant words, giving you nothing but “feel good” messages to empower you (motivational speakers), rather than giving you True Doctrine in Christ Jesus who empowers you by His Spirit rather than the words of men.


b. Though I am absent in body, I am present with you in spirit
                                                                 i. Paul speaking metaphorically, saying he thinks about them often, and prays for them.
                                                              ii. Obviously so, since he writes them this letter.


c. Delighting to see how disciplined you are and how firm your faith in Christ is
                                                                 i. Although the church had been struggling with false teachings, they were holding firm to the cross of Christ Jesus

                                                              ii. Their understanding of doctrine may have been skewed, but they did not waver from Christ

                                                           iii. We may not (should I say will not) understand every single bit of God’s Word, however, we must stand firm on that which we do understand.

1. “My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge. Because you have rejected knowledge, I also will reject you from being priest for Me; Because you have forgotten the law of your God, I also will forget your children.” – Hosea 4:6

2. “each of us will give an account of ourselves to God.” – Romans 14:12



CONCLUSION – how firm is your faith in christ?  

Paul’s letters have a common theme, Spiritual Maturity.

Revealing the “root” of all of the problems within the Body of Christ is simple, dealing with them is where the challenge begins.

The root is Spiritual Immaturity, a lack of knowing God’s Word.

Hosea 4:6 “…my people die because of lack of knowledge…”

Ephesians 4:7-16
But to each one of us grace has been given as Christ apportioned it. This is why it says:
“When he ascended on high,
he took many captives
and gave gifts to his people.”
9(What does “he ascended” mean except that he also descended to the lower, earthly regions? 10He who descended is the very one who ascended higher than all the heavens, in order to fill the whole universe.) 11So Christ himself gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the pastors and teachers, 12to equip his people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up13until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ.
14Then (or therefore, because He has equipped His people) we will no longer be infants, tossed back and forth by the waves, and blown here and there by every wind of teaching and by the cunning and craftiness of people in their deceitful scheming. 15Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will grow to become in every respect the mature body of him who is the head, that is, Christ. 16From him the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work.
If you fill yourself with the Word of God, being “saved” and having the Spirit of Christ in you, you WILL obtain Wisdom and Knowledge from that Word, and become a Spiritually Mature member of the Body of Christ.
And as the scripture states, “16From him the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work.”
If the Body of Christ (Church) is suffering, or NOT being held together, not growing, not building itself up in love, then two things are happening

·        There are not enough “supporting ligaments” (Spiritually Mature within the church
·        Some or many of the “each part” (the members) mentioned is NOT doing their work

Has Christ died for us?
Has Christ risen again?

14Then (or therefore, because He has equipped His people) we will no longer be infants, tossed back and forth by the waves, and blown here and there by every wind of teaching and by the cunning and craftiness of people in their deceitful scheming. 15Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will grow to become in every respect the mature body of him who is the head, that is, Christ. 16From him the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work.


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